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OK...help me here. Rome just doesn't look that appealing.

OK...help me here. Rome just doesn't look that appealing.

Old Aug 15th, 2004, 12:33 PM
  #1  
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OK...help me here. Rome just doesn't look that appealing.

In all our plans for a 2-wk visit to Italy this winter, we've allowed 5 or 6 nights in Rome. We absolutely LOVED Paris and assumed we'd feel the same way about Rome.

Last night I started reading all the guide books I brought home from the library. It was all churches! And pieces of stone lying around on the ground. Yes, I know...I'm exaggerating. And we don't have anything against churches. We especially look forward to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel.

But, the MAIN thing we both loved about Paris was the consistently beautiful architecture throughout the city, especially the Hausmann boulevards and monuments. We also liked the medieval Marais district.

You all speak so lovingly of Rome. Can you help me out here? Is it ambience? Is it the piazzas? I know you will all think I'm soooo parochial for even raising the comparison with Paris. But we're tempted to cut Rome to 3 days and add time to Tuscany.
JeanneB is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2004, 12:47 PM
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Rome is one of the pillars of western civilisation. this does not mean that you *have to* appreciate it. it is just one of the reasons that is is appreciated by so many. i studied latin in school and found it exciting to be seeing so much that i had studied. If you have no interest at all in classical history, then you are correct to question its place in your itinerary.

that said, it may spark an interest if you don't know much about it. if you are familiar with it but just find it uninteresting, by all means skip it and go somewhere where your interests lie.

Of course, people can have a great time in Rome without an interest in history but this is the main reason to visit rome in my opinion. If you are just interested in italian charm, ambiance etc. then there other places you could go.
walkinaround is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2004, 12:54 PM
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Uh-oh, as I ADORE Rome, there is no help from me except to say-
Go, you will be glad you did.

BUT, you said you LOVED Paris.
and even though my basis for this is fairly small and limited,
everyone I know who loves Rome is usually lukewarm on Paris, and visa versa, Paris lovers can take it or leave it with Rome.

that being said, why not go with your new plan, stop in rome, and then go off to another city in italy.
nanb is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2004, 12:55 PM
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To each his (or her) own.

I'll take the small intriguing streets of the historical center of Rome over the haut-bourgeois 19th-century boulevards of Hausmann any time.

There are two threads still going on full of arguments for and against Rome. If you type Rome into the search box, they will come up.

I've said it in those threads and I'll say it again here: People tend to have very strong opinions one way or the other. But do at least experience a tiny bit of Rome before you decide on the basis of guidebooks that you dislike it.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:03 PM
  #5  
cherylforeurope
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I know you'll hear from many on this. For
us it was the antiquity found in Rome..we
have nothing like it in the US. To see
the Pantheon and the Sistine Chapel ceiling, to walk in the Coliseum is beyond
anything I had anticipated. It humbled me, it connected me to the past in a way I can't describe and was an
emotional experience. St. Peters was a
jaw dropping sight. We loved the food too. I love Paris also, but Rome has a special place in my heart and we'll definitely go back again. Enjoy your trip.
 
Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:07 PM
  #6  
 
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You can always have 2-3 daytrips planned; don't have to take them, but you'd be ready if you decided you needed to break out of Rome a few times...Orvieto, Pompeii, Assisi?..
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:14 PM
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I just realized that one of the threads is further back than I thought:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...es=32&start=50

And the other doesn't have Rome in the title:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...ses=14&start=0
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:15 PM
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I knew you guys would come through! We, too, studied Latin and in-depth Western Civ...that one struck a chord. But, then, so did the comment about Italian charm, ambience, etc. That's the problem. We keep swinging back and forth.

Perhaps there's a solution. Maybe we should go ahead with the plan of 5 nights in Rome at the beginning of the trip. If we get there and find we're not in the "loves Rome" category, we can always leave a couple of days early and head on up to Tuscany. In February, we shouldn't have trouble finding lodging. That sounds reasonable, huh?
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:21 PM
  #9  
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It would probably help if I tell you our itinerary:
Rome---5 nights?
Montalcino--3 nights
Siena---3 nights
Florence---3 nights

If we left Rome early, we'd probably go to Assisi from Rome.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:25 PM
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I guess I'm just an oddball around here. Given the choice between Paris and Rome, I'd pick Rome every time. And I've been to both cities numerous times although I've stayed in Rome for longer periods of time (2 weeks) than Paris (4 days).
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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Hi Jeanne. I LOVE Paris. I LOVE Rome. Comparatively, I can take or leave London or Munich, but love the areas and small towns outside them. Rome is simply fascinating for all the reasons everyone says but frankly, it's fascinating just standing there looking like its old self. Your idea sounds good. If it doesn't work for you, you can always leave early (yeah, like that's going to happen!). Plus Rome will be warmer than the other places at that time of year. Have a great trip.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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When I planned my first trip to Italy early this year, I wasn't sure I would like Rome. But it seemed like a trip to Italy wouldn't be complete without going to Rome, so I scheduled 3 nights there. I ended up loving Rome - so much so I'm going back to spend 6 days in Rome in November. The three days I spent there earlier this year just weren't enough. St. Peter's Basilica is especially impressive - I'm not Catholic, but I just stood in awe of the place when I was there. I would encourage you to spend at least 5 days in Rome, if you can.

Martha
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:31 PM
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Think History and art and architecture.No other city compares.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:33 PM
  #14  
cmt
 
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http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34406329
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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Oh, the fountains, Jeanne! Fountains are everywhere, and they are glorious. Rome is a city of extremes, and what a ride it is.

I think you have a good plan, but I doubt you'll leave Rome early.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:34 PM
  #16  
ira
 
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Hi Jeanne,

>Rome---5 nights?
Montalcino--3 nights
Siena---3 nights
Florence---3 nights<

Is there a reason why you have left out Venice?
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:34 PM
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I'd suggest you read a couple of good books about Rome that AREN'T just guidebooks, in order to get a feeling about the city from people who love it. Here are a few suggestions (check them out on Amazon for more details):

"The Food of Love" a new book by Anthony Capella. This is every bit as entertaining in its own way as the delightful Peter Mayles novels about Provence.

"As the Romans Do" by Alan Epstein -- an American who moved to Rome describes what it's like to live there.

"A Thousand Bells at Noon" by Franco Romagnoli and "City of the Soul" by William Murray. Two different "insider" views of Rome by people who've spent a lot of time there.

Also, if you like to listen to recorded books, I recently picked up at the library, a book on tape: "When in Rome," an old mystery by Ngaio Marsh. I'm enjoying it -- it seems to communicate a good sense of the city.

There is also a series of mysteries by Lindsey Davis, set in ancient Rome. I've listened to the first one on tape, and it was sort of fun.

Anyone have any other suggestions for good books on Rome?
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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If you go to Rome you will see FOUR of the most impressive things you have ever seen in your life.

St. Peter's, The Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon and Colosseum. St. Peter's is reason enough for the entire trip.

The rest is delicious Italian gravy if you allow yourself to appreciate it!

From another thread:

Paris is lovely but Italy is the Motherlode of Art, Sculpture and Architecture. St. Peter's alone is enough to awe you for the rest of your days. Michelangelo, Borromini, Bernini, Bramante...these are the heavy hitters...only the Yankees have managed such a line-up. ; D )))))

Rome:

Arch of Constantine, by unknown, at Rome, Italy, 315.
Arch of Titus, by unknown, at Rome, Italy, 81.
Domus Aurea, by Severus and Celer, at Rome, Italy, 64.
Farnese Palace, by Antonio da Sangallo, at Rome, Italy, 1534.
Pantheon, by unknown, at Rome, Italy, 118 to 126.
Piazza Navona, by Bernini, at Rome, Italy, 1600 's.
Piazza del Campidoglio, by Michelangelo, at Rome, Italy, 1538 to ~ 1650.
Piazza di Spagna, or the Spanish Steps, by Alessandro Specchi, at Rome, Italy, 1721 to 1725.
Piazza of St. Peter's, by Bernini, at Vatican City, surrounded by Rome, Italy, 1656 to 1667.
Roman Colosseum, by unknown, at Rome, Italy, 70 to 82.
S. Ivo della Sapienza, by Frencesco Borromini, at Rome, Italy, 1642 to 1650.
S. Maria Della Pace, by Donato Bramante, at Rome, Italy, 1478 to 1483.
S. Carlo Alle Quattro Fontane, by Frencesco Borromini, at Rome, Italy, 1638 to 1641.
S. Andrea al Quirinale, by Bernini, at Rome, Italy, 1658 to 1665.
Sforza Chapel, by Michelangelo, at Rome, Italy, 1558.
St. Peter's of Rome, by Giacomo della Porta, at Vatican City, surrounded by Rome, Italy, 1546 to 1564 and 1590.
Tempietto of San Pietro, by Donato Bramante, at Montorio, Rome, Italy, 1502.
Temple of Venus and Rome, by Hadrian, at Rome, Italy, 123 to 135.
The Roman Forum, by collective, at Rome, Italy, -100 to 300.
Thermae of Caracalla, by unknown, at Rome, Italy, 212 to 216.

And then there is art and sculpture! I'm afraid my Paris list is much, much shorter w/ much more cafe and bar time. ; )

kakalena
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:55 PM
  #19  
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Hey, Ira! Regarding Venice. We've really tried to keep the packing/unpacking to a minumum and this was what we settled on. I hate to miss Venice. Even as you were typing, I was thinking about taking one day off Rome and one day off Florence, adding two days in Venice. It sooooo hard!

But reading this thread I'm beginning to think we may very well stay the full 5 days in Rome. I do like the flexibility that comes with low-season travel, though.

Nonafellice: Thanks so much for the book tips. As it happens, I'm searching for a book-on-tape for my long walks. I'll be checking those out at the library in the morning! I'm doing the Michel Thomas Italian CD's while I walk, but I like to trade off with lessons one day, good book the next. Those sound promising.
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Old Aug 15th, 2004, 01:59 PM
  #20  
awbaker
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I'm reading "As the Romans Do" which Eloise mentioned, right now, and I can't wait to visit Rome! I was sort of ambivalent about Rome when I first starting our trip to Italy (THIS FRIDAY!), but I'm actually quite excited about Rome now. Don't forget about all the cafes, people-watching, shopping and fabulous strolls you will take there!
 

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